“Some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negroes are not to be trusted around women – black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men”. That was a quote by Atticus Finch. Atticus Finch is a man who always tries to do what is right. In the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ a major theme is racism. An innocent black man is unfairly charged for raping a white girl. Throughout the book we learn about Atticus’ views on racism as well as racism being present in the novel.
I feel very strongly about this topic and my views about it are very similar to Atticus’, rather than most of the Maycomb community’s. In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ racism has a big impact in the novel. Since the book was based in the 1930’s, the issue of racism was not only present in the book but was relevant at the time in the Southern States of America. In 1930 Negroes had only been free from slavery for 65 years. After these 65 years of being free citizens, most whites still believed they are below them.
This isn’t so different in Australia. The Aboriginal Australians were only granted the right to vote, after a referendum was held in 1967. That was around 45 years ago and still some aboriginals still fall victims to racism. The town of Maycomb County is a good example of a community whom a majority of its citizens stereotype people by their skin colour. The difference from Atticus’s views on racism compared to a person like Bob Ewell is completely opposite. Atticus lives in a racist society and doesn’t share these prejudice views.
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Atticus once said “You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them”. He teaches his children, Jem and Scout to treat everyone with respect, including their black housekeeper, Calpurnia. He respects people of colour and believes it is his duty to defend Tom Robinson to the best of his ability. Bob Ewell and a majority of Maycomb County do not agree with Atticus’s views. They don’t see Tom as “Tom”, they see him as a negro. Atticus quotes: “what was one negro, more or less, among two hundred of ‘em?
He wasn’t Tom to them…”. Due to the jury racially discriminating against Negroes, Tom Robinson was pronounced guilty. No matter how much evidence Atticus justified to the court that Tom Robinson was not guilty, the jury would still pick a white person over a Negro. Tom truly believed he had no chance for an appeal and decided to attempt to escape, taking his own chances and being shot. Tom believed that he would fall victim to racial prejudice again and not be judged fairly despite his innocence.
Racism caused an innocent man’s death. In my opinion, I don’t see how anyone benefits from being racist and I am so against it. We are all human beings and that doesn’t change because of the colour of your skin. No race is better than the other and it is ignorant to believe that you are above someone else by judging their skin colour. Racism is so unnecessary and I stand with Atticus’s views when It comes to this topic. Atticus’s lack of racial prejudice shows how fair and genuinely good of a person he is.
Atticus made an impression on the Maycomb community, a community that in the 1930’s were very racially discriminating against coloured people. Atticus influences the reader to have not judge someone based on their skin colour. The Tom Robinson case was a step towards stopping racism. ‘Atticus finch won’t win, he can’t win, but he’s the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that. ’, Miss Maudie quotes ‘well, we’re making a step – it’s just a baby step, but it’s a step’.
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